Broccoli is a winter vegetable that is closely related to veggies like cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels Sprouts. It is a nutritional powerhouse loaded with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. It is great for losing weight and has innumerable health benefits.
One can say that Broccoli is the poster child for hatred towards vegetables, as many people tend to run away from it. The people are not at fault as this mild-flavored vegetable has a component, which can make it basically unpalatable and bitter. About 70% of people can taste the bitterness of broccoli, which is attributed to the presence of gene HTAS2R38 in our body. This makes the vegetable taste horrible and bitter. However, the trick lies in cooking it to perfection while adding it to gravies of mixing it in salads along with sauces of your choice.
Though broccoli is not preferred by the majority of foodies, it’s a miracle food that has many benefits from treating Autism to preventing cancers. Here are top 5 reasons why you should add broccoli in your diet:
1. Prevents cancer
It has been hailed as an anti-cancer food, owing to its higher concentration of glucoraphanin. It has immune boosting and cancer fighting properties like its sister vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower & Brussels sprouts). It has a compound called sulforaphane that has the ability to deplete the enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC) which is the main factor to cause cancer. The raw broccoli has more sulforaphane than the cooked broccoli. If you are planning to improve your sulforaphane intake, it is ideal to eat your broccoli in the raw form. If you want to retain the sulforaphane level, steam broccoli lightly for about 4 minutes and then consume it. According to a recent research, broccoli has decent amounts of fiber, which makes it extremely suitable for preventing uterus, colon, lung and breast cancer.
2. Reduces cholesterol
Like many whole foods, it is loaded with soluble fiber that removes cholesterol from your body. The fiber in broccoli easily binds to the bile acids in the digestive tract, making it easier to excrete the bad cholesterol. It is also a known fact that broccoli can reduce the LDL-cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol) in our blood. Also, broccoli helps you to lose weight as it is low in calories. It provides just 30 calories per 100 grams and it has high fiber content and a low glycemic load. Eating high-fiber and low glycemic load veggies have great effect on folks who are following a strict weight loss regime. As it is loaded with fiber, it makes you feel full for a long time and discourage binge eating. This makes your path to weight loss hassle-free.
3. Reduces inflammation
Broccoli has good amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which is an anti-inflammatory compound. It also has a compound called sulforaphane, which can help patients suffering from arthritis. Moreover, it helps to cure inflammation caused by chronic diseases like heart disease, psoriasis, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease. It is rich in kaempferol, polyphenols, and quercetin, which are popular for their anti-allergic response. If you are suffering from any allergic reactions, you can eat steamed broccoli or broccoli soup to cure the inflammation.
Also known as dynamic trio, it has phytonutrients (a substance present in plants that prevents various diseases) like glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin, and gluconasturtiin that regulates the human body’s natural process of removing waste from the body. It breakdowns the toxins into less harmful metabolites that are water soluble and are easily excreted in urine. It is said that people who consumed broccoli have higher levels of natural detoxification in their body. Also, it eliminates the pollutants that we unknowingly inhale on an everyday basis.
5. Skin Care
It helps to repair the damage that naturally happens from pollution and sun exposure. Glucoraphin is a nutrient present in broccoli, which cleanses the skin and allows the damaged skin to heal itself. Consuming it is a great way to boost your skin health as it is loaded with vitamin C. It gives a shine to your skin, reduces skin wrinkling, and helps slow down the aging process. Broccoli is often regarded better than sunscreen in safeguarding your skin from skin cancer. In fact, you can apply the broccoli paste over your skin as a skin pack before bath.
Make your food interesting with these broccoli recipes. They are so good that you won’t even know you are eating this vegetable: Broccoli Tikki, Cauliflower and Broccoli Soup, Garlic Roasted Broccoli
So, go on, start including this cruciferous vegetable in your diet from today and begin reaping its benefits.